Hard Case Crime review: The Consummata by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins (#103)

The Consummata by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins


Compared to the $40 million the cops think he stole, seventy-five thousand dollars may not sound like much. But it’s all the money in the world to the struggling Cuban exiles of Miami who rescued Morgan the Raider. So when it’s snatched by a man the Cubans trusted, Morgan sets out to get it back. A simple favor – but as the bodies pile up…dead men and beautiful women…the Raider wonders what kind of Latin hell he’s gotten himself into. And just who or what is the mysterious…


The Consummata is the posthumous sequel to Mickey Spillane’s The Delta Factor, completed, like several other Spillane works, by his chosen trustee Max Allan Collins. According to Collin’s note, “After a disappointing experience producing a Factor film, however, the frustrated Spillane set aside the already announced second Morgan novel, The Consummata.”

I really enjoyed The Delta Factor, and with the combo of a great title, a great cover, and the Hard Case Crime imprimatur, I was looking forward to a ripping read with The Consummata.

Unfortunately, the book doesn’t work. In addition to the frustration with the film project, it’s likely Spillane put down The Consummata because the darn thing just wasn’t going anywhere, much less in a direction that would warrant both being a followup to The Delta Factor and having such an awesome title. The Delta Factor had a variety of intrigues and a fairly epic scope. The intrigues in The Consummata aren’t nearly as interesting, it’s substantially less thrilling, and its scope is relatively tiny.

Compounding these problems is that this Morgan the Raider doesn’t seem a whole lot like the Morgan the Raider I met and liked in The Delta Factor. One of Factor‘s more interesting aspects was that the book was first-person, but Morgan remained mysterious and semi-mythic to the people who interacted with him and to the reader. In The Consummata, rather than being somewhat mysterious, everyone seems to know Morgan to the point where they all call him “Morg,” like he’s a drinking buddy rather than a living legend. I felt like I was reading about a different character who happened to have a similar skill set. I don’t know if that’s the fault of Spillane, Collins, or both, but it was unsettling and disappointing. (At least one scene, a sex scene pretty obviously added by Collins to spice things up, is completely out of character given what it could have cost Morgan. An important aspect of Morgan the Raider in The Delta Factor was his ability to maintain control in situations where gorgeous women were throwing themselves at him, despite his constant horniness.)

Collins tries to inject some excitement into the book by adding subplots, but the results seem forced. I didn’t like most aspects of Collins’ ending, either, but, to be fair, I don’t think he had a whole lot to work with to get him to that point.

All of which is too darn bad. Had The Consummata ended up being both a good book and a book about the Morgan the Raider from The Delta Factor, perhaps there would have been enough interest for Collins to take a stab at extending the series. As it stands, The Consummata and Morgan the Raider both reach their end set up for further adventures that will almost certainly never happen.

Update: Author Brian Drake, who comments here semi-regularly, likes The Consummata quite a bit more than I do. Here’s his take.

Posts in this series

Review: The Delta Factor by Mickey Spillane

Review: The Consummata by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins (this post)

Movie review: The Delta Factor (1970)

Buy The Delta Factor by Mickey Spillane

Buy The Consummata by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins